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I want to eat at Neptune Oyster when I come to Boston

We are visiting Boston August 14 - 18th, and my number one mission while on our visit is to eat a hot lobster roll at Neptune Oyster. I have read this place is always super busy and sometimes its difficult to even get a table.

I'd like to know what is the best time and best day between Wednesday to Sunday to visit where our chances of getting a seat are high.

And if we have no luck at Neptune Oyster, what would be a great alternative that's close by?

Thanks!

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    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      I'd go on Wednesday or Thursday. I've been by on these days countless times and have never seen a line.

      1. Arrive between 11:30 and noon, especially on a week day. Alternatively, arrive in the lull between lunch and dinner from 3-4, again on weekdays if possible.

        14 Replies
        1. re: KevinJF

          I'd tend to agree with KevinJF. Go for an early dinner if you can, I've had luck as late as 5-5:30ish. Definitely worth it. Don't limit yourself to the lobster roll though, there are plenty of other delicious things to be had: fried clams, johnnycake, crudos, and neptunes on piggyback are all delicious!

          1. re: purple bot

            excellent advice. my personal fave is the vitello tonnato sandwich and the oysters; My Love always has Chef Serpa's scallops.(* But do not get the clam chowder; it's very disappointing.)

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              Thank you all! Really can't wait to eat lobster rolls and seafood specialties.

              Yes, clam chowder is also mission while in Boston, and heard Neptune is not the place for it. Will be visiting Boston Chowda Co. and Ned Devine for that.

              1. re: sillyputty999

                agree about weekdays and off-times. i usually go between 3-4. sometimes even then there is a bit of a wait, but along the lines of 15 minutes, not several hours.

                the lobster roll is BIG, so you may consider splitting it so you get to try more food. i am always a sucker for the crudo choices and blackboard specials.

                neptune's chowder is non-traditional, but i wouldn't be eating anything at ned devine's.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Oh? I saw some iffy reviews about Ned Devine, but I also read their clam chowder won some awards?

                  1. re: sillyputty999

                    ned devine's is just another of our gajillionity faux-irish pubs, and not one that has a scratch kitchen.

                    spend any time in new england and you will find "award-winning chowder" every 50-feet.

                    legals' doesn't get much love on here, but people do seem to like the chowder. icob also serves chowder.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Is Ned Devine's part of that chain of fake Irish pubs? That advertises in Improper Bostonian?

                        1. re: C. Hamster

                          not part of the glynn hospitaility group, no. (black rose, jose macintyre's, clery's etc.)

                        2. re: hotoynoodle

                          I really like Legal's chowder as well. Especially since it gives you an excuse to visit the newest location which is on the water (Legal Harborside). A dozen oysters, chowder and a Harpoon to wash it down never sounds like a bad way to spend a couple hours.

                          1. re: Matt H

                            as long as the weather isn't beastly, it's a nice walk from there to neptune too.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              Looking forward to it. Lobster rolls, clam chowder, oysters. I think the Legal Harborside is near the Aquarium? We'll be in that area so definitely will be dropping in.

                              1. re: sillyputty999

                                about a 20-minute to the aquarium. it's a nice waterfront over there, so worth the walk.

                                1. re: sillyputty999

                                  There is a Legal next to the aquaium but it is not Legal Harborside (think it is called Legal Waterfront). Legal Harborside is about a mile away -- nice walk if you follow the Harbor walkway.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. I've been on weekdays about 11:30-11:45 and didn't have a problem getting a seat. It filled up after that though.

                  1. For a very local experience you might also consider Belle Isle Seafood in Winthrop. It's a short drive to East Boston. They don't have a hot lobster roll but their cold version is very, very good. Plus they do a wide selection of other Boston favorites like fried Haddock, fried clams and "Stuffies" (large stuffed clams) as well as steamers.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: RoyRon

                      2nd Belle Isle, I'd go to BI for a lobster roll any day over Neptune. There other seafood offerings are all fresh and excellent as well.

                      1. re: treb

                        Yeah, I saw this place mentioned a few times already... I don't think we'll be able to get to this place though since we won't have a car.